Monday 20 October 1662

Up and in Sir J. Minnes’s coach with him and Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where now the Duke is come again to lodge: and to Mr. Coventry’s little new chamber there. And by and by up to the Duke, who was making himself ready; and there among other discourse young Killigrew did so commend “The Villaine,” a new play made by Tom Porter; and acted only on Saturday at the Duke’s house, as if there never had been any such play come upon the stage. The same yesterday was told me by Captain Ferrers; and this morning afterwards by Dr. Clerke, who saw it. Insomuch that after I had done with the Duke, and thence gone with Commissioner Pett to Mr. Lilly’s, the great painter, who came forth to us; but believing that I come to bespeak a picture, he prevented us by telling us, that he should not be at leisure these three weeks; which methinks is a rare thing. And then to see in what pomp his table was laid for himself to go to dinner; and here, among other pictures, saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine, which is a most blessed picture; and that that I must have a copy of. And having thence gone to my brother’s, where my wife lodged last night, and eat something there, I took her by coach to the Duke’s house, and there was the house full of company: but whether it was in over-expecting or what, I know not, but I was never less pleased with a play in my life. Though there was good singing and dancing, yet no fancy in the play, but something that made it less contenting was my conscience that I ought not to have gone by my vow, and, besides, my business commanded me elsewhere. But, however, as soon as I came home I did pay my crown to the poor’s box, according to my vow, and so no harm as to that is done, but only business lost and money lost, and my old habit of pleasure wakened, which I will keep down the more hereafter, for I thank God these pleasures are not sweet to me now in the very enjoying of them. So by coach home, and after a little business at my office, and seeing Sir W. Pen, who continues ill, I went to bed.

Dunkirk, I am confirmed, is absolutely sold; for which I am very sorry.

35 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

Who can wait to learn if Pepys got his copy of his Lady Castlemaine's portrait by Lely? There were, I believe, several. To other hands I leave the depiction of Elizabeth's reaction when the painting is hung. . . .

Pedro  •  Link

"saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine, which is a most blessed picture; and that that I must have a copy of."

"Lely adored painting Barbara. With her heavy-lidded, slanting and sensuous sulky mouth, it is Barbara of all the Restoration beauties who calls to mind those immortal words of Pope:"

Lely on animated canvas stole
The sleepy Eye that spoke the melting soul...

(Antonia Fraser, King Charles II)

Australian Susan  •  Link

"most blessed picture"
Sam appraoches this portrait as if it were an ikon.
Isn't he amazing to be so honest with himself in the diary about the play - admitting he didn't enjoy it as much as he might because his conscience troubled him.
And he gave up business for something not really worth it.
Mind you, here in Australia, the whole business economy grinds to a scrunching halt on the first Tuesday of November each year for the Melbourne Cup: the State of Victoria has given up and made it a public holiday. Elsewhere there are parties all over the place - ladies who lunch have champagne-fuelled get-togethers and wear outrageous hats; men gather in pubs with huge screened TVs and bet heavily (even if they never do at other times). People who visit can never believe the whole nation stops to watch a horse race. Sam would have loved it. Not long now before Charles gets the racing bug, with which he thoroughly infects the royal genes: the first newspaper the present Queen reads each day is a racing one. Charles's Queen must have been pleased he became interested in a different kind of filly.

JWB  •  Link

" crown to the poor?s box.."
Tetzel: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs".

Pauline  •  Link

"...whether it was in over-expecting or what..."
This surprised me. Guess I thought over-expectation was a modern woe.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine, which is ..." not for the prim, here be Samuells version true or false" it be painted by Pieter van der Faes (Dutch, 1618?1680), but be it Villiers

Pauline  •  Link

"...and here, among other pictures, saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine..."
Is "marketing" going on here?
Slap the forehead, "no,no--no new commsissions, I am all booked up. But here, come into the dining room and see 'in what pomp [my] table [is] laid ...[for] dinner'. (I am important, an artist!)

'Alas, you have notice the erotic painting of Castlemaine here in the dining room. Yes, I do make quick copies for one or two discerning gentlemen...but, for an artist, copies are a great sacrifice. Yes, she is MOST beautiful. You have supreme taste in womanly beauty. I don't know--I hate to disappoint a man of such taste...."

Dave Bell  •  Link

I think that Sam likely has some mixed motives for seeing the play. He takes his wife, and there are all these significant people around. There's a certain amount of "business" in all that, and a certain amount of being nice to his wife. But the actual play was a disappointment.

Sam needs to be competent in the office, but this apparent idle pleasure is also a part of his business.

Anyone else get the feeling that he finishes a little hastily, as if somebody is saying, "Now come to bed Sam"?

Joe  •  Link

"...and my old habit of pleasure wakened, which I will keep down the more hereafter, for I thank God these pleasures are not sweet to me now in the very enjoying of them"

I love this bit. My own version: "I don't even like cigarettes anymore!"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The greatest play ever put on stage!!"-Henry Killigrew...

"An unsurpassed triumph!!"-Robert Ferrers...

"I laughed, I cried!!"-Timothy Clerke...

The critics raved...But...


"You bought a copy of Lady Castlemaine's portrait to hang in our home..." Bess temporarily too shocked for rage...


However our boy has prepped for this one...

"Merely policy, my dearest love. Just think..." Sam eyes proper spot in his closet. "Mr. Coventry, the others from the office come here...See how we pay attentive respect to the King's mistress..."

Bess slaps at a Will Hewer looking a little too closely at Barbara.

"...And word is passed to the King." Sam's best-man-of-the-world nod.

Grim look...

Merde, what does he take me for?

"I see. Well, Sanuel it is good you'll have someone to sleep with." Slam of door...


Should have tried the "It's like with my Diary that you complain keeps me up all hours...I've the soul of an artist and must worship beauty." argument, Sam sighs.

Barbara smiling at him from her corner...

Sorcha  •  Link

Cumgranissalis: That portrait is dated from the 1670s, though, which makes it rather too late to be the one in question here.

If you look at…
there are a number of portraits of Lady Castlemaine, but the oddest thing is that the earliest is dated from 1664, two years after the current point in the Diary! So, which painting did Pepys see? A mis-dated Madonna and Child or another one entirely?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"so which painting did Pepys see?"
Probably one a copy of which has survived.

Glyn  •  Link

So the play that he saw wasn't put on in a public theatre, but in the Duke's own home and he is now important enough to be on the guest list.

Jeannine  •  Link

"so which painting did Pepys see??
Isn't it obvious to everyone--Pepys saw a picture and came home and talked to his wife about it. Two days from now when we read about Elizabeth being out for the afternoon and the art studio burning down it will all make sense where the actual picture went to and why Elizabeth is so elated....oops, forgive me for a spoiler...

On a serious note, there was quite a market for "duplicate" portraits and it was lucrative business for the artist. Lely also had a long term relationship with Barbara and painted her many times over a long time period. Barbara got her inflated ego flaunted in the process and Lely made money off of her beauty.

The following link will bring you to a picture of Barbara--under it you can click on the "Sitter" and the "Portrait" to get a better understanding of the mutual benefit of the Lely-Villiers relationship.

Also, this url shows a portrait which may have been done as early as 1660.…
I'll look around for a few more online--I have seen collections in books before which could fit this time period, but haven't located any exact matches online.

Jeannine  •  Link

I found a gem for a Friday--A Sam Pepys paper doll set that you can dress yourself!

In the process of looking for links to portraits of Lady Castlemaine I came across this link--it gives a great idea of the clothing of the times and is probably pretty accurate!

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"?so which painting did Pepys see??"

It were not this one done in 1658, I be sure [even might bet on it]

Charlotte, Countess of Derby (1599-1664), Royalist; wife of 7th Earl of Derby. Sitter associated with 6 portraits.…
How style doth change.
What happened to the Painting that got Sam ah goo gah? it could have been on display in some barber shop, in the back room?
re: As I noted it, it may not be La Palmer, then on the other hand Palmer might have had it removed in latter years, as it be too revealing for prosterity. Lilly change styles to accomadate the change in fashion.

Pauline  •  Link

I found a gem for a Friday
Excellent find, Jeannine!

Terry F  •  Link

Glyn, it seems that "the Duke's House" here is our old friend "The Opera", Lincoln's Inn Fields, a theatre created from a tennis court by Davenant in 1661: ; but, yes, methinks tonight it was reserved for select clients only, for the premier of what turned out to be a theatrical dud; yet it was an event at which to see and be seen.

Jan  •  Link

saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine, which is a most blessed picture; and that that I must have a copy of. Would the original artist make copies of his paintings or would it be an underling? I love the paper doll site, must get one for my daughter (oh hang on, she's 24 yrs old now, must think of another excuse!)

Bradford  •  Link

No need for excuses, Jan! Click on each picture for a larger version---save to disc---print off on heavy stock using your color printer---and create your own Pepys Paper Doll Theatre.

The site's high intelligence is further attested to by its link to THIS site.

Jeannine  •  Link

Jan, usually an apprentice would make copies of the original. Per the National Portrait gallery site "Lely and Villiers had a mutually beneficial relationship, in which her prominence at court promoted his art and his art publicised her beauty and status. He seems to have painted her more than anyone else, and his studio assistants and followers also produced numerous versions of these compositions."

Pauline  •  Link

'The site?s high intelligence is further attested to by its link to THIS site'
In these words: "the wonderfully annotated version available online." An annotator is even quoted.

dirk  •  Link

Jeannine - a gem indeed!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wonderful site, Jeanine.

"The Pepys' marriage was "...not particularly happy..."?..." Bess reads with no little shock to a somewhat bemused...

And rather embarassed looking...Sam.

"You and that stupid Diary of yours!" a fume building. "That Tomalin woman was bad enough, now some paper doll maker with a website? Everyone 'knows' how we felt about each other?"

"Twenty-first century types, Bess. An argument, a random (meaningless, ridiculous, absolutely inconsequental...Heh, heh...Ummn) love affair, a black eye or two (you did bite me that time...So I did, heh), and as far as they're concerned it's over. And my 'stupid' Diary has made my poor sweet wretch immortal." a careful look.


"And what's this about a portrait of Lady Castlemaine?"

Ummn...(Really must remember to burn that thing.)

"Remember what I did to Robert Louis Stevenson's spirit when he got here after that 'vulgar woman' remark?" Sam hopefully notes...

"That...Was nice." Bess nods.

"But I could've taken that tubercular little creep."

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"Bess, don't forget that time I doth see thee pecking that feathered strutting egoeiste homme francaise......."

Ruben  •  Link

What a day!
Thanks to all, today is one of the best in a long saga of wonderful days.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"Young Killigrew" might have been the son of Thomas Killigrew: though there were rather a lot of them:……

In fact, they seem to have been a rather famous/notorious Cornish family!

I remember borrowing (from the public library) *Winston Graham's 'The Grove of Eagles' about the Killigrews and the Armada, and it being an excellent read!…

*Author of the Poldark novels.

Bill  •  Link

The National Trust website also has this comment on its website: "The pose of resting the head on hand became popular after Lely’s use of it in his portrait of Barbara Villiers of about 1662 at Knole (NT)."

James Morgan  •  Link

The note about Dunkirk was surprising. In the entry a day or two before Sam didn't seem to have any objection, but now is "sorry".
I wonder what the French interest was at the time? Why spend good money for a small port? Though in the earlier note there was also a promise of England's aid against Spain.
I wonder also why Charles didn't sell off the Channel Islands while he was at it.

Bill  •  Link

James, England had a treaty with Portugal that said they wouldn't sell it to the Spanish, who were adjacent in the Netherlands. France was the only alternative. Charles needed the money and France offered him some. Not enough, probably. But he took it.

Spanish Netherlands:

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Charles needed the money and France offered him some. Not enough, probably. But he took it."

I was reading up on Anne Hyde this evening, and came across a sentence that said the French believed the Duchess’ influence was worthwhile and gave her a generous gift for her support of the sale of Dunkirk.

And I suspect Anne wasn't the only recipient. So Dunkirk did cost more than Charles II received.


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